Peter Brabazon of Specialisterne Ireland told Inspirefest 2018 how people with autism are an untapped wealth of talent.

At Inspirefest 2018, Peter Brabazon, general manager of Specialisterne Ireland, said that autism is an invisible disability and that the typical problems for these people are social, in terms of reading social cues such as body language or being too literal.

He said that while people with autism live in a slightly different world, they have skills and that early intervention is key, especially as more young people with autism go to third-level education. He added that some of these are in danger of getting poor qualifications if they fail to gain a good internship.

Brabazon said that there are ways of handling these matters and that, ultimately, what the employer gets in return often outweighs any doubt. He added that many of these workers have average to high intelligence, great attention to detail and, as Liam Ryan from SAP can attest to, superb error detection.

He pointed to the example of Patrick Brophy, a Dublin City University graduate with Asperger’s who is now five years into a career with SAP.

Brabazon put out a call to employers: “We would like you to come on our journey to meet our mission and a vision of 5,000 people enabled to be employed in 20 years. So far, we’ve got to 150. We have a long way to go so we hope you can join us on that.”


Words by John Kennedy